Classic Iceland

Classic Circle tour
9 days
Jun - Sep
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This comprehensive circle tour of Iceland shows you the highlights of this extraordinarily diverse country- from mountains and valleys to volcanoes, glaciers, rivers, hot springs and waterfalls. Experience all of this plus the culture and history of this unique land. 

Day 1 Reykjavik Arrival
On arrival at Keflavik Airport transfer by coach to your hotel. The small city centre is characterised by eclectic and colourful houses, good shopping and dining. Recently established as a haven for food lovers, numerous restaurants have taken advantage of the abundance of local seafood, meat and game. There are also many wonderful museums, including the National Museum displaying artefacts from the first settlement to the modern age, giving an excellent overview of Iceland’s history and culture and the Reykjavik 871+2 Settlement Museum, an archaeological museum based around a 10thC Viking longhouse, unearthed in 2001. You may also like Reykjavik Art Museum and the National Gallery. Overnight in Reykjavik. Please note: dinner tonight is NOT included.

Day 2 Reykjavik - Reykholt: "Saga" Territory, Grábrók Volcano,  Hraunfossar & Barnafoss Waterfalls
After a short city tour, we head towards the west, toe the Settlement Centre in Borgarnes for an introduction to the Icelandic Sagas and to learn about their impact on Iceland through the ages. Next we take a 40 minute easy return hike to the rim of Grábrók volcano crater, situated amidst a huge lava field; at the top, there are great views of the surrounding landscape. Our next stop is Deildartunguhver, one of the most voluminous hot springs in Europe, then  onwards to Hraunfossar, a unique waterfall that drains from under the lava fields into a glacial river. An easy 10min walk from here takes us to Barnafoss (the Children's Falls), with its strange rock forms carved by the Hvítá river. We continue on to Reykholt, one of Iceland's most notable historical sites, the former home of Iceland's best-known author Snorri Sturluson from 1206-1241 and now a cultural centre and institute medieval studies. Overnight in West Iceland with dinner at the hotel.

Day 3 Reykholt - Akureyri - Husavik: Skagafjörður Valley, Eyjafjörður & Whale Watching
Today we drive over mountain passes, through lava fields, beside green pastures, fertile farmlands and along fjord landscapes to North Iceland. We pass Skagafjörður (the Valley of Horses) and this afternoon we go whale watching (weather permitting) at Eyjafjörður, Iceland's longest fjord, sitting just below the Arctic Circle. The most common species seen here are humpback and minke whales, harbour porpoises and dolphins. On board you can also try your hand at fishing..... cod, haddock, pollock, catfish or even giant halibut abound in these waters. Our next stop is Akureyri, Iceland's 2nd largest city, before we continue on to picturesque Húsavík in the northeast. We stay here for 2 nights with dinner at the hotel.

Day 4 Godafoss Waterfall and Lake Myvatn, Myvatn Nature Baths
Our first stop today is at Goðafoss (the "Waterfall of the Gods"), one of the most spectacular falls with a semi-horseshoe shape, and an important place in Icelandic history. Next we tour the Lake Mývatn area; close to the Arctic Circle and famed for its abundant bird life and amazing volcanic lava, the landscape here has been shaped by nature into strange lava forms and volcanic craters. Wander through the mysterious Dimmuborgir lava field, see pseudo-craters and Hverfjall cone, a 396 metre high tephra explosion crater. There are also small bays filled with thousands of birds -  an absolutely delightful sight. Our last stop is at Mývatn Nature Baths, where we soak in the warm geothermal water, filled with minerals - a wonderful way to relax and rejuvenate. 2nd overnight in Husavik.

Day 5 Husavik - East Iceland: Kraftla Caldera,  Viti Crater Lake  and Vatnajokull National Park
Start the day by exploring the geothermal area of Námaskarð with hot springs, fumaroles and bubbling mud pools. At Kraftla, a caldera of about 10 km in diameter with a 90 km long fissure zone, we see the impact of volcanic activity and the smell of sulphur hangs heavy in the air. Víti (Hell) is a circular explosion crater, filled with blue water and is surrounded by a surreal volcanic landscape, with colourful mountains. The steam hissing out of vents here creates an eerie atmosphere. Continue to Dettifoss Waterfall, Europe's most powerful waterfall, situated in the northern part of Vatnajökull National Park, where we take an easy walk of around 40-60mins. From there we drive through the uninhabited highlands to east Iceland, with a stop at Möðrudalur farm, which sits at 469m above sea level, to visit the local church which was built by hand in 1949. Then we continue across barren landscapes, through Jökuldalur Valley to reach the fertile Fljótsdalshérað region. We make a final stop at the narrow glacial lake, Lögurinn; keep your eyes open for the giant Lake Worm which legend says resides here! Overnight in East Iceland and dinner at the hotel.

Day 6 East Iceland - Skaftafell: The East Fjords, Vatnajökull National Park & Jokulsarlon Glacial Lagoon
Travelling today further along the Ring Road towards the southeast of Iceland, admire the green valleys, high mountains, dramatic fjord landscapes and tiny fishing villages that make up the East Fjords. We stop at Djúpivogur village, then see Vatnajökull, Europe's biggest glacier and the one that is visible all over the southeast. Past Höfn, we stop for a boat ride among the floating icebergs on magical Jökulsárlón Glacial Lagoon. Huge pieces of ice calve from the glacier and end up floating in the lake, then out to sea. Spend tonight near Skaftafell, in the southern part of Vatnajökull National Park, with dinner at the hotel.

Day 7 Vatnajokull National Park and South Iceland
Vatnajökull National Park covers about 14% of Iceland and offers great contrasts in landscapes - glaciers, birch forests, moors, mountains, glacial rivers, brooks and sandy outwash plains. We explore the Skaftafell region, nestled below Iceland's highest peak and Europe's 2nd largest stratovolcano, Hvannadalshnjúkur (2110m) and  walk close to one of the area's many glacial tongues. After crossing a sandy desert, we then drive along the south coast between the sea, rugged mountains, glaciers and waterfalls.

We cross part of the vast Eldhraun (Fire Lava) plain, a barren lava field which was created by a devasting, year-long eruption in 1783; the years that followed are referred to as the 'misty times' due to the volcanic ash that lingered in the air. Onwards to the famous Reynisfjara shore, near Vík; widely regarded as the most impressive black sand and pebble beach in Iceland, it also features an amazing cliff of regular basalt columns resembling a rocky step pyramid, and abundant birdlife including puffins, fulmars, and guillemots. 

Next is a visit to Skógar Folk Museum where Iceland's past comes alive, then Skógafoss Waterfall (62m) which often has a vivid rainbow showing. We continue along the Eyjafjallajökull glacier and volcano, to visit the narrow Seljalandsfoss Waterfall (65m) with a small walking track that leads behind the waterfall itself where you can walk.  Then on through Iceland's biggest agricultural area, to South Iceland, where we spend 1 night. 

Day 8 The Golden Circle and Reykjavik
We start the day with meeting some shaggy and charming Icelandic horses at Friðheimar Farm, and watching an entertaining riding demonstration, showing us the special gaits and unique qualities of these iconic aminals. Then on to the Golden Circle and its 3 wonderous sights. . Overnight in Reykjavík, Iceland's capital. Please note dinner tonight is NOT included.

Day 9 Departure
Arrangements end with your transfer by Airport coach, to Keflavik Airport.

2018 departures:  02, 16, 30 June; 14, 28 July; 11, 25 August; 08, 22 September

Includes: 8 nights accommodation in 3 star hotels with private facilities; return Airport coach transfers; 7 day fully escorted tour with English-speaking guide; 8 x breakfasts and 6 x 3 course dinners; visit to two national parks; whale watching and sea angling tour (weather permitting); boat trip on Jokulsarlon Glacial Lagoon; Icelandic horse show; entry fee and towel at Myvatn Nature Baths; admission to Icelandic Settlement Centre; entry fee at Skógar Folk Museum.

Maximum Group size: 20 persons

Accommodation in the following hotels or similar: Fosshotel Reykjavík first & last nights; Fosshotel Reykholt West Iceland 2nd night; Fosshotel Húsavík Northeast Iceland 3rd & 4th nights; Hotel Hallormsstaður East Iceland 5th night; Fosshotel Glacier Lagoon 6th night; Hotel Örk Hveragerði South Iceland 7th night

                                   Nordic Travel is 100% Australian owned and operated

Price per person FROM:
Double AUD$ 5534.00
Single AUD$ 7655.00

Includes: 8 nights accommodation in 3 star hotels with private facilities; return Airport coach transfers; 7 day fully escorted tour with English-speaking guide; 8 x breakfasts and 6 x 3 course dinners; visit to two national parks; whale watching and sea angling tour (weather permitting); boat trip on Jokulsarlon Glacial Lagoon; Icelandic horse show; entry fee and towel at Myvatn Nature Baths; admission to Icelandic Settlement Centre; entry fee at Skógar Folk Museum. 

The prices shown here are for departures in September.  

 

Price per person FROM:
Double AUD$ 5856.00
Single AUD$ 7985.00

Includes: 8 nights accommodation in 3 star hotels with private facilities; return Airport coach transfers; 7 day fully escorted tour with English-speaking guide; 8 x breakfasts and 6 x 3 course dinners; visit to two national parks; whale watching and sea angling tour (weather permitting); boat trip on Jokulsarlon Glacial Lagoon; Icelandic horse show; entry fee and towel at Myvatn Nature Baths; admission to Icelandic Settlement Centre; entry fee at Skógar Folk Museum. 

The prices shown here are for departures in June, July and August  

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